I've been googling around a bit and it's sort of tough to find answers to this stuff without having to trawl through endless forum threads, so I'm hoping some of you helpful folks won't mind giving me some thoughts!
So I played the games yeeeeaars ago (although mainly BG2) and tried a bunch of classes back then, though it was with precious little thought and planning. I never played all the way through the saga with one character, and I also never finished ToB (barely touched it) so I'm trying to get started with a full play-through of all now, going for mostly "canon" party members for this run to get it out of my system.
The problem is I'm getting stuck in my age old loop of struggling to decide what to pick as a "CHARNAME" class so I'm hoping going to share my thoughts and hopefully through some discussion, settle on something! I'm not interested in powergaming or min/maxing as such but I also don't want to end up with a redundant character. I'm probably going to run with Jaheira, Khalid, Minsc, Dynaheir and Imoen in BG1 (always felt canon to me) and in BG2 go with Minsc, Jaheira, Jan, Aeirie and Keldorn or Mazzy until Imoen comes back, then I'll ditch Jan.
So here are the choices I'm struggling with:
Mage/Sorcerer - Sorcerer kind of appeals more from the RP perspective since I imagine CHARNAME as a bit of a rebel, skipping lessons etc due it magic coming naturally.
I never played pure magic before, so this is appealing as something new, however on my small forays into BGEE it seems like it may get a little annoying and somewhat boring if I end up running out of spells in dungeons etc and have to constantly rest, or find myself useless if that is not an option. Is that something that is an issue or is running out of spells not too much of a problem?
Paladin - This appeals to me as a RP choice especially, because of the whole hero aspect of it and fits with the whole martial/divine population of Candlekeep so it could definitely work as a CHARNAME class. What is stopping me here is that I'm also probably going to take Keldorn so I don't know if I want to have two paladins. Having said that though, I have played through SoA as an inquisitor before though and kind of found myself getting a little bit bored, due to always being able to faceroll tough mage fights so easily so a solution to this issue could be to ditch Keldorn in favour of Mazzy and go for a cavalier or undead hunter that can grab Carsomyr or the bastard sword. Then I'm stuck between choosing the UH for a more widely useful bonus against more common enemies, or cavalier for a bonus against more rare, but arguably much tougher enemies (also has the more classic heroic knight feel to it). So for people who've played both, do you find that the +3 hit and damage makes a noticeable difference in either case or does it just not really matter that much?
Stalker - This is another that has good RP feel for me because again, the ranger feels like a good "hero" class, and getting to become the protector of the Umar Hills does feel kind of awesome. My reasoning for the CHARNAME class being that he would be always trying to sneak out of Candlekeep to explore the outdoors, and might go on hunting trips etc, as well as being trained to fight by the instructors. The question is though, is it any good or will I feel weaker compared to a paladin or mage/sorcerer?
Blade - This one always appealed to me because I could see myself actually being a bard if I lived in this sort of fantasy world as I am into martial arts as well as music and books etc.
On top of this, it also seems like they could be more fun and active to play that other classes, hanging back and casting spells, then when they run out, pop offensive spin and dive in. This class also brings up the levelling differences, because the paladins and stalker level slower don't they? Or just get capped sooner? Is this something that starts to matter much in ToB or would I not really notice it?
Thanks for reading through this to anyone who did and thanks in advance for any thoughts!